The achievements include autocomplete, translations, directions and traffic, universal search, mobile, voice search and the Knowledge Graph
Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search has detailed what he considers to be the company’s top 10 milestones since 2004 and although many will not be surprising, you may have to cast your mind back to remember what life was like without some of them – such as mobile search.
He looks back to ten years ago when CEO at the time Larry Page said: “We have a strong commitment to our users worldwide, their communities, the web sites in our network, our advertisers, our investors, and of course our employees. Sergey and I, and the team will do our best to make Google a long term success and the world a better place.”
The company has certainly done that both with its search engine as a user and as an advertising platform and is growing at unimaginable pace. Just this morning, we covered how Google’s total paid search increased 17% in the second quarter of this year.
In fact, over the last year, Google has released a mammoth 890 updates to its users and many of these will have gone unseen but have had a pretty big impact.
Without further ado, here are the ten things Singhal says are Google’s biggest milestones of the last 10 years.
You know when you start typing a search and suggestions of what you’re about to type pop up? Yep, that’s auto complete and it didn’t exist back in 2004 – really!
Forget using Babelfish to translate languages. Google’s own translation engine has helped people translate across 80 languages with a billion translations a day.
Directions and traffic
Forget trying to use the AA travel planner. Just type in where you want to go from and to and Google will find the best route for you – whether that’s by walking, by car or by public transport.
Getting text-based search results is so 2004. Google’s Universal Search brings up multimedia results, whether you want to watch Arctic Monkeys play at Reading Festival or find the lyrics to Do I Wanna Know?
Mobile and new screens
Even though mobiles are getting bigger, looking at search results on a mobile phone isn’t always the best option. Google has rebuilt its search engine to work across mobile, desktop and tablet differently so screen size is no issue anymore.
Forget using your hands to type, you can use your voice to search now, making it easier to work hands free!
The Google Search app allows you to do pretty much whatever you want on your phone by just saying, ‘OK Google’ and then it’ll start the action – whether that’s find a place to eat, calling your friend to join you or adding an item in your calendar to remind you what time you’re meeting for dinner.
The Knowledge Graph
The world is made of real things, not just text strings. So we built the Knowledge Graph to show how things are connected—ask “How tall do you have to be to ride the Cyclone?” or “Who’s in the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy?”, and then click to explore across the web.
Info just for you
Google was built to make things personal. Your experience can be personalised too, so whether you have a flight saved in your Gmail, a meeting set up at a client’s office or a shipment due from DHL, all this information will be presented to you when you need it.
Answers before you have to ask
With the Google Search app installed on your phone, it will know when all these things are happening, so you don’t even have to ask for the information – it’ll already be there on your phone.
Wow, what a decade for Google!